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74% of first-time buyers paid stamp duty in 2016

74 percent of first-time-buyers paid stamp duty in 2016

Yorkshire Building Society has slammed the current stamp duty policy after it was revealed that 74% of first-time buyers paid the tax last year.

This is up 21% percentage points on the proportion of first-time buyers who paid stamp duty in 2006 (53%), according to figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Yorkshire Building Society believed that stamp duty should be altered in the next Budget on 8th March 2017.

Andrew McPhillips, chief economist at Yorkshire Building Society, said that – in its present form – stamp duty does not suit the current housing market.

“…It pushes up costs for those looking to buy, exacerbating affordability issues in a market where prices have vastly outpaced wage growth.

“Levying the charge against sellers rather than buyers will help to reduce costs for first-time buyers, helping more people to get on the property ladder.

“It would also help those moving up the property ladder, enabling them to move to a more suitable property and potentially freeing up smaller homes for first-time buyers to purchase.”

John Stevenson MP, who claimed to be a long-time supporter of changing stamp duty policy, added: “At present it penalises first-time buyers and those aspiring to move up the housing ladder.

“I have and will continue to make representations to government regarding such a change appearing in this year’s Budget.”

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